Wrestlemania 26 Review

Wrestlemania 25 was a real disaster, except for the Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels match that became the best Wrestlemania match of all time. Since that match, it make the Undertaker’s streak even more significant than winning the most prestigious championship in any Wrestling organization. Shawn Michaels came in to deliver the best out of the Undertaker and certainly it showed that they not only needed to face off one more time, but most importantly make sure to make it the main event. Thankfully, this is a step foward from the awful era of booking decisions that Wrestlemanias since WM 23 has ever had. But even though everyone came to this show just to see Undertaker and Shawn Michaels wrestle each other one last time, how was the show? Well, let’s see and find out.

ShoMiz (The Miz and Big Show) (c) vs. John Morrison and R-Truth – Unified Tag Team Championships – As a solid opener that got the crowd on their feet, but it was way too short.  Just as I was getting into it, John Morrison bounces right into Big Show’s carcinogenic fist and it was over!  This match could’ve been done on Smackdown and I’m not sure if anyone would tell the difference.  But like I said on Kick-Out!! Radio, no disrespect to the participants, but this was probably the least important match on the card.
Match Score: 3/5

Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase –  Just like the Breakfast club triple threat in Wrestlemania 24, we just had to get Legacy to break up and give them their own triple threat. Thankfully this match didn’t deserve to be higher in the card, but I have to admit that with my lowered expectations, I actually enjoyed this match.  It wasn’t fantastic or anything, but it was certainly better than I thought it was going to be.  The highlight of the match was when Randy gave these two a double DDT from the mid rope. As expected, Orton got the win, which isn’t surprising since Rhodes and DiBiase had absolutely nothing to gain from winning this match.  They’ve been presented as nothing more than a tag team throughout this entire storyline, so what would either one of them get out of a singles win?  I certainly thing that Randy Orton did not deserve to win this match because Cody and Ted Jr. deserved a push to further their careers. Because neither one of those two won this match is the reason why they’re still stuck in the mid-card today
Match Score: 3/5

Jack Swagger vs. Christian vs. Matt Hardy vs. Kane vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. and Evan Bourne – Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Ten men in one match never has MITB ever been this big! And unfortunately this has got to be one of the wost MITB match ever. Not because it was just too big, but the far that it was played very safe in comparison to all the past MITB ladder matches and watch this match certainly shows! Off with the good. Once again we get a chance to see Shelton Benjamin doing what he does best and he certainly was better in this match than we was last year’s Wrestlemania. So was Kofi Kingston who gave his best out of his ability and we were able to see Kori and Shelton square off for a brief moment. And Evan Bourne’s shooting star press was phenomenal when he applied that maneuver. However the only thing that ruined this match was the finish. Matt Hardy and Christian got knocked off and it was Jack Swagger to had to take down the briefcase. And it goes on… for almost a minute trying to unchain the case from the ropes. God! That was tiring to watch. If anything that was the one instance the ruined the show and if this match were reach, all the wrestlers would have made sure he wouldn’t take it down that for that long. Thank God, the WWE network edited that long ass moment into a second. It’s a shame really because this is the last Money in the Bank ladder match ever held in Wrestlemania.
Match Score: 2/5

Triple H vs. Sheamus – Now this is a match that Triple H should be in, not main eventing. The reason why I say that is because Triple H is supposed to wrestle against mid-carders with the way that he always wrestles in nearly all of his matches. Even though he buried Sheamus, he did make him a member of the Breakfast Club. As for the match… uh… it was basic as ever. This is what you’ll get from an opponent that has the same limitations as Triple H. But what made this match was being a dull one was Sheamus’s focus on taking down Triple H and keeping the pace. However Triple H won the match with a pedigree and really nothing was gained or lost.
Match Score: 3/5

Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk (with Luke Gallows and Serena) – I’ll be honest, I’m never a fan of the Straigth Edge Society because they’ve made the anti-smoking, drinking, and drugs movement into a heel thing and I hated the fact that his heel turn made it ironic. The stipulation here is that CM Punk made a feud too personal by getting his family involved and he wants nothing more than to make Rey his most loyal member to the SES. Right from the get-go Rey’s outfit was ridiculous and I couldn’t stop shaking my head every time the fake pony tail from the top of his mask was flying. Anyways, it seemed like the odds was stack against Mysterio as Punk had his society ring side to help out, but it was enough to stop the fast Rey Rey. If it wasn’t for Punk being able to keep up with Rey, this match would have been a disaster. As Gallows tried to interfere, Mysterio throws Punk into the crotch of Gallows and was 619′d and was pinned. Punk had some highlight moment as he was able to pull many reversals to put Rey in the Go To Sleep position but it was enough to stop Mr. 619. Leave it to WWE though to have kids boo at someone who tells you that drugs and alcohol is bad for you. I really think that the wrong guy won this match because it would have carried out the a great story of Mysterio now a member of Straight Edge Society and try his best to break free.
Match Score: 3/5

Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon – I really don’t want to remember this match because this match should never have happened. Bret Hart should have had more integrity than this when he made peace with Shawn Michaels in an episode of RAW that became the best moment of WWE where forgiveness triumphs. But because Vince McMahon didn’t want to make Bret Hart just a host of Wrestlemania and let whatever happened in the Montreal Screwjob to just be bye-gones, they had to make it into a match. Bret Hart suffered a great stroke when he officially retired in 2000, seeing him come into the ring show that he’s not in shape to perform. But I’ll give Vince credit, he did try to make Bret powerful, but for the fact that the whole Hart family had to come into the ring and continually beat up Vince was just too much. I was getting fed up with Bret Hart about to give Vince McMahon a sharpshooter and then decide not to. Everybody just wanted to have that Sharpshooter applied and finish the match, but no. Revenge just had to wait a little longer… Did I say little, I mean A LOT longer. This match went on forever and it’s only a certain point in time where Vince had to stop acting like a vulnerable shit but seriously, everyone was getting really bored in this match. Hell, even Bret had to sit in a chair in the middle of the ring just catch his breath and the commentators was running out of things to say. Enough with the teasing with Sharpshooter, enough with the chairshots, and enough with the pandering. Please just finish this match. After the 11 minute mark, Bret finally apple the sharpshooter and you already know Vince was going to tap. I mean it was great to have revenge after Montreal Screwjob that tortured Bret throughout all of these years, but that doesn’t mean if Bret’s enjoying it, the audience was. I can’t say it’s anywhere as the worst Wrestlemania match, but it should never had happened. I have too much respect for Bret to even acknowledge this match ever existed. But it could have been worse if Vince won and that’s the only positive I can say about this match.
Match Score: 1/5

Chris Jericho (c) vs. Edge – World Heavyweight Championship – Two Canada’s finest had their shine last night. Although the match started some what slow with rest holds (though we did get Jericho yelling at ref saying “Ask Him!”) the match picked up its pace after a while. Probably the great moments were when Edge attempted to do his finisher, the Spear, since this was built up as that all it takes is one spear and it’s over. For the first attempt, Jericho simply rolled out of the ring. The second attempt, he smoothly counter it into the Walls of Jericho and for the third attempt, he gave Edge a Codebreaker head on (after Jericho tried to attempt for a spear himself, he met with a boot to his face). Though that Codebreaker wasn’t enough to put the Rated R Superstar down, Jericho starts playing dirty and attacks Edge old injured leg and eventually grabbed his title. After the ref got bumped and was down, Jericho hit Edge with the title and went for another Codebreaker for the win. After the match, Edge exploded into a rage, got Jericho on top of the Spanish table, Edge ran across from the English announce table and Speared Jericho into the barricade. I’m going to admit and say I was surprised by this ending as I was expecting for Edge to win seeing how he was the Royal Rumble winner and was going after Jericho for revenge. Either way, was a win-win situation for me as I’m a fan for both and hopefully the feud continues on. This sometimes-forgotten World Heavyweight Title match had a putrid build (Edge suddenly yelling SPEEEEEAR like Sebastian Bach with Tourettes), and the crowd was a little dead following Bret’s long ass pummeling of Vince, but it was a good match, won by champion Jericho.
Match Score: 3/5

Michelle McCool, Vickie Guerrero, Alicia Fox, Layla, and Maryse vs. Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, Mickie James, Gail Kim, and Eve Torres – This match wasn’t as horrible as the Diva’s Battle Royal Last year, but it was an ultimately pointless match. This was so cluttered to have all of these women keep going at it and just put Vickie Guerrero as the star of match… and that’s a bad thing. Say what you will about how bad the Bret-McMahon match is, this match actually is worse. I got nothing against women wrestling but wow…this match, this match here…was total crap as this was the worst Wrestlemania Divas match. Every one started off by beating on Vickie which somehow led to Vickie not being effected by the beat down she just had and screamed at Kelly Kelly. This led to all the Divas doing their finisher. Although McCool, Mickie, Maryse, and Phoenix pulled off their finisher right… the rest was just all terrible timing and sloppy. Once all the divas pulled their finisher, Vickie decided to do her late husband move, Eddie Guerrero’s Frog Splash, and pretty much fell on Kelly. Vickie failed at her pin attempt at first as she moved Kelly’s shoulders off the mat and then after what was like thirty seconds or so, finally pinned her right for the win. I’m sure they probably weren’t giving enough time for the match and they all tried their best but wow, this match drained a lot of people out. Definitely, it’s the worst match of the card!
Match Score: 0/5

John Cena defeated Batista (c) – WWE Championship – This one definitely had a big-match feel to it. The two biggest babyfaces of the Ruthless Aggression Era squaring off for the biggest prize. Batista began doing his best work after turning heel a few months prior to this program. The question seeping in was, who was the bigger star of their era? There was also doubt creeping in, as Batista had continuously been getting the upper hand on Cena. So naturally, Cena won this match. It was a good call to put this match before the Undertaker/Shawn Michaels rematch which is a good thing considering that this match doesn’t deserve to be ahead of that anticipated match. Still this match didn’t quite deliver. Cena’s and Batista’s styles never meshed well and it was painfully obvious Cena would win this match. Moments that spring to mind from this match include Cena’s Five-Knuckle Shuffle from the top rope. Each man then kicked out of the other’s finishing move. Cena reversed a Batista Bomb into an STF and forced Batista to submit. Overall a forgettable match.
Match Score: 2/5

 

The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
– Streak vs. Career –

If there was a feud that deserved a Wrestlemania rematch, it had to Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker. I can’t stress enough that their match in Wrestlemania 25 was the only great match on the card and it was the best match in Wrestlemania history. After Shawn Michaels lost the match, he was more eager to end the streak because he was the closest that came to ending it (Since Kane in Wrestlemania 14). There was nothing more than have a second chance. At the time the Undertaker won the World Heavyweight Championship and Shawn wanted to win the Royal Rumble. Unfortunately, he got eliminated and Taker was waiting for another opponent. Shawn couldn’t accept that so he had to interfere the Elimination Chamber match and cost Undertaker his World title. Never had there been so much anticipation to make this match happen because there was no other guy that deserved to end the streak than Shawn Michaels. It look like he was about to get his chance… until Undertaker made this rematch a stipulation by saying if he loses, his career is over… And that’s the only flaw that I have with this rematch and why I can never say it will ever be better than their match in Wrestlemania 25. Not because it was going to be Shawn’s last match, but because we seen this before. This was the same stipulation as to Ric Flair’s retirement when he lost to Shawn Michaels in Wrestlemania and knowing that this is a career ending match if he loses, it kinda spoiled the results for me, personally.

Now that I’m looking into this match in an entirely different approach, I just knew that the streak will never end, but had Shawn Michaels wrestle for the last time. I came into this match just knowing that he was going to loose and retire, but we just had to see what he had to offer one last time before he had to go, just like Ric Flair. Michaels came out pumped and not afraid and was not intimidated at all as Taker made his way into the ring. The match started with HBK doing the thumb cross the throat pose and pissed Taker off by doing so. The match started off fast unlike the two earlier world title matches as the two crafty veterans knew what they were doing. Taker and Michaels both tried to pull off their finisher quick but was both reverse in time. Michaels kept aiming at the knees of the dead man while the dead man was over powering the Heart Break Kids at moments.

We had HBK doing the figure four and reversing a Tombstone pile driver into Ankle Lock, but it wasn’t enough to make Taker tap. This had led to HBK trying to moonsault into Taker outside of the ring but it was reversed into Tombstone, but it was only good for a two once Taker was able to put Michaels back in the ring. The dead man goes for the Last Ride but HBK reversed it by pulling Talkers face down as he was doing the power bomb. HBK goes for his elbow dropped but was blocked and reverse into the Hell’s Gate submission in which HBK reversed it into a pin that was good for two and then lead to a Sweet Chin Music that was good for a two. There was another Sweet Chin Music attempt but Taker reversed it into the Last Ride which was good for two.

The match went ringside which lead to Michaels doing a moonsault on Taker through the table. Once back in the ring, HBK went for the pin but was only good for a two and got a Sweet Chin Music in and once again, only good for two. Another Sweet Chin Music attempt reverse into a Choke Slam and then a Tombstone but was only good for a two. Taker was going to do the thumb across the throat but stopped as he say Michaels laying their trying to get up. He told HBK to stay down but Michaels slowly got up and mocked Taker once again by doing the thumb across the throat. The angry dead man picked up HBK and pulled the most powerful leaping Tombstone Piledriver Undertaker has ever made that lead the dead man to victory and also, 18-0 now and Mr. Wrestlemania was no more. After the match, Taker and HBK shook hands and hugged. HBK stayed in the ring and got  standing ovation as tonight was the Heart Break Kid’s last match. HBK walked down the ramp and did one final pose while holding his tears back to end the night. Even though this match wasn’t as good as the last Wrestlemania match, however, it did it’s job in doing what it needed to accomplish. Wrestling fans everywhere debates which of the Undertaker-Michaels match was better, Wrestlemania 25 or Wrestlemania 26. I’m one of those fans that still considers that match as the best Wrestlemania match, but this was a great homage to that great match that had a faster pace. There are just a couple of things that didn’t make this match as good as the original.

  • Jim Ross wasn’t commentating the match and Michael Cole was trying way too hard to do a better job at commentating.
  • There wasn’t a point in the match where I thought Undertaker was really going to loose (like Undertaker making leap of faith and landing on the cameraman)
  • I think it was a bit too much to see Shawn Michaels apply that moonsault to the table. Sure you need to make this match different but it didn’t work much.
  • As a sequel to the best match ever, they’ve tried their damnedest to capitalize on their first Wrestlemania match together
  • Making this a No DQ Match was unnecessary, even despite the fact that there were no dirty moves or weapons involved
  • There was no “out of the body experience” involved in this match

However it is a double edge sword where the Undertaker-Michaels rematch did do a couple of things that was better than the original match; it was much more emotional and the storytelling was in full force, there were a lot less mistakes happening in this match, and the finish was what you call a “Wrestlemania moment” when Shawn slapped Undertaker cross the face to have the nastiest Tombstone of all time. Despite what both of those matches had over the other, the Undertaker-Michaels rematch itself was a classic bout and there were so many exciting moments that it really kept the fans on the edges of their seats until the end of the match when Undertaker pinned HBK and ended one of the greatest in ring careers of all time. This was Shawn’s last match ever as a wrestler and it was a classic no doubt about it. Some say that matches like Undertaker-Michaels happens once in a lifetime, but never could we thought it could happen twice!
Match Score: 6/5

Even despite the fact that the Undertaker-Michaels rematch was not as good as their first match at Wrestlemania, but it was properly placed in the main event which it should. Speaking of which, Wrestlemania 26 is a much better show than Wrestlemania 25. The matches, even though they weren’t as good as I hoped, there were more good matches than bad ones. Even though that this is another Wrestlemania that was a one-match-show, with the effort that the mid-card has put in, it saved the show instead of relying everything on the one match that everyone wants to see. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a Wrestlemania properly booked and because it gave the most effort on what it got, I can’t even look back at Wrestlemania 25, except for the original Undertaker-Michaels match. I can really go back to this show and see how it started okay to a fantastic end! For once the booking decisions did it right and that’s all that matter for Wrestlemania.

The Top Lister’s score for Wrestlemania 26

                     3/5

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